Thursday, June 12, 2008

Unstructure @ HCL


About a decade ago, the world of business jumped on the process and best practice bandwagon. In technology terms, this was the age of ERP. CEO's started discovering as they achieved greater and greater process efficiencies, they wanted better decision making visibility. The era of business intelligence was born. Along came a small company called salesforce and put a new spin to the defunct asp model - giving rise to the software as a service phenomenon. Lo and behold - Saas democratised the temple of process. All businesses could now access the same levels of process efficiency irrespective of size - because Saas takes away the pain of capital investment, and serves functionality back to the business on a web based, subscription model. In fact, given the larger enterprises discomfort with security issues in this model - smaller businesses would on average start accessing better process technology. At least in the world of enterprise technology - the advantage of size was over.

So what's become the buzzword for business today ? You can see it on every news stand. Innovation ! Who innovates ? - The process ????

Because the process oriented business model pretty much commoditised people, the new world of business is desperately trying for innovation - and unable to achieve it, because the best thing going is the process itself. The traditional structure of business is unable to deal with this challenge, because it has effectively managed to lock up curiosity and creativity in people and thrown away the key.

So what do we do ?

Unstructure.

What if the only focus of business process and technology were to empower the people who are in business ? What if the highest control resided with the person closest to the market or customer ? What if every individual at work had the opportunity to maximise their own professional development ? What if we as people were able to marry our self interest seamlessly with our employer's business interest ? What would such a world be like ?

To begin with - the holocaust would never have happened. No one would have the "following orders" excuse. True work life balance would become achieveable - with work contributing to our sense of achievement. We would leave our stamp in each organisation we worked for - and many other such utopian things would become possible. And ....

Revenues would grow. Profits would improve. The happiness capital in society would expand. We would do less and impact more. All sorts of good stuff would be happening all around.

Let's Unstructure !

Let's seamlessly bring Business, Technology and People together to unlock thought leadership. That's what will happen starting this year as HCL's initiative towards thought leadership. There is no thought leadership without a question - the most fundamental one being "Is there a better way ? " asked by all of us as individuals daily in our professional lives. Unstructure blows this up with a major question asked by a globally recognised thought leader (the Global Mentor). For example, a Global Mentor could ask - How are the businesses of today changing to cater to the unique needs and dynamics of generation Y ?

There are lots of people in lots of different businesses very exercised about this question - it impacts employees, customers, partners and every aspect of doing business today. Many have opinions and thoughts - and possibly a few have practices as well to deal with this question. I believe many such people would rally around the Unstructure platform to answer this question - and ultimately drive it to actionable thought that business can put in practice. Imagine 15 such questions being addressed every year. In future, a business should be able to access Unstructure for a compilation of responses to relevant questions which can immediately become a manifesto for them. As more people participate, the Global Mentors should be born out of natural thought leaders who may be leaders in their own professions - and now don a thought leadership hat. Each batch of global mentors actually infects and energises new people to come forward to take their place. New streams of thought, new visions start emerging - in an inclusive, democratised, fearless and creative environment; populated by professionals and practitioners who understand context and subject the best. I am not even able to envisage right now how far this can go ....

How will this happen ?

To find out - you need to participate. Enjoy Unstructure.

2 Comments:

Blogger joe said...

hmm.. could be pithy ;-)

5:34 AM  
Blogger Ramachandran.C.V. said...

Please comment on the current status of this thought process (9 months from the publishing date). Positive or negative, lessons learnt from this exercise will be a very good post, I suppose!

11:18 PM  

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